Hope4Peyton header image

My sister has THE cancer

I just want to send a huge thank you to a loving friend who provided my girls with the most gorgeous Easter dresses in the world. They’re pretty darn cute to start with, but this is just going to throw it over the top.

Peyton and I headed out for our weekly Little Tales time and got the chance to take our little buddy Andrew Gliddon with us. He’s a riot, the cutest little bundle ever. I forget how exciting everything is at 2..CLOUDS!….FOOTBALLS!!!!….a BLUE CAR!!! It’s almost more than my heart can take. What just cracks me up is the way he says Peyton’s name “Payyyyuuunnnn!” Look, Payyyuuunn, a bird! Look, Payyyyuunnn, a truck!

She in turn is not as captivated by his enthusiasm. A practiced look of “wow, was I ever like this” is thrown his way as she says “Yes, Andrew, I see it.” I guess it’s a pretty good thing we never had more kids.

Andrew’s big brother Mathew got to come to the CCC after his doctor’s appointment. He has gone home from the hospital and is doing his treatment outpatient for as long as he can. Mathew got to do some swinging, he watched a movie, we all ate some hot dogs and just loved having him with us again. That boy is such a fighter, it amazes me what kids can endure….and then still smile at the feel of sunlight on their face and wind in their wispy hairs. We continue to ask for many prayers for Mathew through his chemo and that the results of his upcoming bone marrow will show a full remission. He needs that remission so they can make their plans to head to CHOP for the bone marrow transplant.

Peyton spent the entire morning monopolizing the attention of one Cody Bertoch. He pushed her on the swing, they ate hot dogs picnic style on the slides and she adored him every minute of the time they were together. She would look at him and then look at me and give me the biggest grin….as if to say “Yeah, this one’s mine!” Cody is 13, an age when most boys could care less if a 4 year old is in the room, let alone if she’s happy. But this boy just lights up her world and she is non-stop smiles when they play. Thank you, Cody, for giving my girl a wonderful day.

We got home so late after clinic and Peyton and I were both beat. We picked up the kids and went to Chili’s for dinner. Chili’s is a huge supporter of St. Jude’s hospital and our local Tampa Chili’s are HUGE donators to the Children’s Cancer Center. We walk in and there at the hostess stand is an enormous poster with the CCC logo and their upcoming golf tournament. Rachael sees it and announces in her opera voice “Hey!! We know the Children’s Cancer Center!” The hostess…probably 18-19 years old smiles at her and says…bad idea…”How do you know the Children’s Cancer Center?”

Rachael turns, points at Peyton and pretty much screams “She’s my sister and she has THE cancer!”

That poor hostess looked like she wanted to faint, she actually turned white and had a horrified expression. I don’t know if it was Rachael bellowing about her sister’s cancer at dinnertime, the fact that there was a child with cancer in the restaurant, or if she’d never really thought about what the phrase Children’s Cancer Center implied. Because it’s not like they named it that because the Boys and Girls Club had already been taken. After she seated us, I told her that yes, Peyton had cancer and that we do spend a lot of time at the Center. I explained a little about what the CCC does and how much our family had benefited from all the generosity of Chili’s. You could see that she was actually making a connection between idea of supporting that charity and being face to face with one of the kids that her company helps. I guess that’s a good thing. We had a steady stream of waitstaff and managers come over to say hi, they gave us our dinner for free…BUT before you go in and announce that you’re a CCC family, you got to set up the whole scene first….so it looks natural, ok? If you want, I can send Rachael over to go with you so she can tell each and every person there that your child has “The cancer”.

Peyton’s clinic visit went well. She breezed through getting her port accessed, her counts were good (ANC 2000, red blood count 11, platelets 225000) and she got her Vincristine for the month. Her steroids also started last night. <-Can you hear the excitement in my voice? She woke up last night achy, crying that her legs hurt, so we curled up in bed after some pain medication and she told me that her tummy hurt and it was making her legs hurt. Her powers of diagnosis lead me to believe that she won’t be going into the medical field any time soon, but I hated that she was hurting.

She did stay at school today, after many tears, a lip stuck out so far that at least two kids tripped trying to walk past her, and a promise to pick her up early if she felt bad. No call so far.

There were also issues with dropping Nathaniel off at school today. That’s just because I’m a MEAN MEAN mama. Nathaniel is a typical 10 year old boy. He forgets stuff, he leaves stuff, I have to go to the lost and found box every week to pick up his gym clothes, his sweatshirt, his jackets….and his lunchbox.

This morning was a breakthrough morning for the two of us and the lunchbox issue. Normally, I would threaten him with bodily harm and then brown bag him a lunch, but there were no bags and it brought on the perfect “remember your lunchbox” plan. I pointed to the hooks where they hang up all their school stuff and it started.

“Give me that lunchbox, you’re taking that one to school today.”

“Which one?” Clearly ignoring the ONLY lunchbox left on the hook.

“THAT one, the pink one with the big supergirl emblem on it…get me that lunchbox.”

“I can’t take that one to school!”

“Well, you ARE taking that one to school, and when you sit there today with a pink lunchbox, you’ll remember to bring home your lunchbox, won’t you?”

“Can’t you just put it in a bag?”

“Apparently a bag doesn’t get the point across, you NEED to remember to BRING HOME YOUR LUNCHBOX!”

“But it’s pink!”

“And today, my son, it’s yours.”

He was unhappy with me. He slammed doors, he kicked shoes, he gave several dirty looks.

I told him in no uncertain terms that I hadn’t forgotten MY lunchbox at school for the umpteenth time this year….the second lunchbox of the year, mind you, because he totally lost the first one. I let him know that if he didn’t stop with the attitude that he’d be taking that lunchbox to school every day for the rest of the year! I gave him the out that if he got to the lost and found early and found his lunchbox, he could put his food in it and no one would have to know that his food had dared to touch a pink surface. It could be tainted or something…forget about ecoli or samonella, PINK could kill you!

I don’t know if he found the lunchbox in time…I haven’t gotten a phone call from the school saying that Nathaniel has had a nervous breakdown from being forced to eat from a girl’s lunchbox.

But I guarantee you that red lunchbox is coming home today!


7 Comments on “My sister has THE cancer”

  1. #1 Angela
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    I am TOTALLY a mean Momma too!!! I am proud of us for sticking to our guns!!! WAY TO GO GOOD MOM!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2 Debbie
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Yeah, I'm one MEAN momma too…ha! That pink lunch box thing had me laughing so hard!

  3. #3 Stephanie
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Oooh you wicked with you!!
    Well, when poor Nathaniel develops a nasty twitch (think crack!) and requires therapy twice a week I cant wait to tell you "I told you so".
    Next time, feel free to pop over and borrow Scotts 'Hapocolips' picnic basket, much more macho!


  4. #4 Angela
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Way to go. I have too been a mean mom.
    I made my daughter wear clothes that did not match on clash day at school today.

  5. #5 Marie
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    That is evil Anissa. EVIL!!!!

    I love it.

  6. #6 Ami Czorapinski
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I don't have any girls or a reason to have a pink lunch box in the future but believe me, I'm filing this one in the back of my mind. I can see myself needing it one day. Thanks for always keeping me smiling!

  7. #7 Jennifer Rivera
    on Feb 20th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Oh my GOSH Anissa! We ARE brothers (er, sisters) from a different mother! that is EXACTLY the kind of thing I would do and EXACTLY the kind of reaction I would get for doing it!

    You are the funniest friend I've never met! :WINK

    Love ya!